<< Books: Red Mars | Captain von Kirk >>
Running Down The Hill

Back in ye olde early dayes of this blog, I actually had (and occasionally hewed to) a weekly schedule:

Monday:		Books
Tuesday: Politics
Wednesday: Humorous observations about yogurt
Thursday: Games
Friday: Movies
Of course I had a child since then. Now nearly all the movies I watch, books I read, and games I play feature anthropomorphic mice, reassuring the watcher/reader/player that pooping in your pants once in while doesn't necessarily preclude you from being a Potty Champion.

As for politics, I think I moved from the "laugh so you don't cry" stage to the "cry so you don't move to Finland" stage about two years ago. And, anyway, I've pretty much made every single possible joke about the current administration. Except, perhaps, this one:

Knock knock

Who's there?

George W. Bush

Oh, god. Still?

Yes, for 14 more months


So, yeah. You can see why I stopped.

Still, I wrote about a book yesterday, and I'm planning to review a game Thursday, so why not go hog wild and stick to the schedule for old-time's sake. Besides, I've already subjected everyone I know in real life to this harangue, so you're my only remaining audience.


I know I'm not going to change anyones mind on this. But still. Come on. Please?

It's not that I don't like Clinton--I do. Honestly, I think she's the most presidential person in the race, for either party. Some people say she's unelectable, but I don't believe that for a moment. And hopefully Kerry taught us the peril of nominating someone based on their supposed "electability."

But holy smokes, I am so sick of this dynasty crap. Bush? Then Clinton? Then Bush? Then Clinton? If Hillary wins she will likely be re-elected as well; when she leaves office, this nation will have been ruled exclusively by two families for 28 straight years--an entire generation! In 2020, no one under the age of 30 will remember a time when neither a Bush or Clinton was running the joint. And you know Jeb will be waiting in the wings. What's the point of having a democracy if we only use to to elect monarchs?

Some of my friends patiently sit through my tirade and then rebut, "I agree with you in principle, but it's unfair to hold a quirk of history against Clinton." Maybe not, but we ought to elect presidents based not only on their qualities, but also on what is the best for the nation. After all, it's supposed to be a government of laws, not of men (or women). In other words, we need to look beyond the fact that Hillary may be the best-qualified for the presidency, and ask what electing another Clinton or Bush will do to the institution of executive branch. We have the 22nd amendment, and constituencies enact term-limit legislation, to prevent just this sort of situation; we wouldn't even need the 22nd amendment and term-limits if we could just exercise some self-control in cases like this.

So, in conclusion: vote Gravel. Or Obama. Or Richardson, or Edwards, or Dodd--hell, I don't care. But don't vote for Hillary. And just so we're clear: I'm totally not joking about this. There's no way I'll vote for Hillary in the primaries. Not a chance. I'd sooner cast a write-in vote for Ben Dover.

Of course I'll be the first to pull the lever for Clinton if it's Hillary v. Rudy in the general election. Standing on principle is noble, but Giuliani eats power for breakfast and shits crazy in the afternoon.

Posted on October 16, 2007 to Politics


hear, hear. I was saying the same thing about Clinton to a friend a few months ago. had to say that I'm not joking and he thought I was crazy. it is rough for Mrs. Clinton, but come on.

Posted by: Dan Conner on October 17, 2007 4:47 PM

It annoys me we can no longer vote for both parties in the primaries. I want to pick R and vote for Ron Paul, but I will probably pick D and end up voting against Hillary.

Can someone remind me why it's so important to have a party system?

Posted by: Actionable Mango on October 17, 2007 4:58 PM

You're reading my mind man.

Posted by: OsakaGuy on October 17, 2007 5:07 PM

Woo hoo! For once, I have beaten Matthew Baldwin to the punchline!


Go me! Go me! Go me!

Posted by: Ipecac on October 17, 2007 5:33 PM

If you broaden the scope a bit to include Bush Senior's time as VP, it can be stated even more dramatically as:

Forty percent of Americans have never lived when there wasn’t a Bush or a Clinton in the White House.

(Source: Nancy Benac / Associated Press Writer)

Posted by: Nugget on October 17, 2007 5:34 PM

If you broaden the scope a bit to include Bush Senior's time as VP, it can be stated even more dramatically as:

Forty percent of Americans have never lived when there wasn't a Bush or a Clinton in the White House.

(Source: Nancy Benac / Associated Press Writer)

Posted by: Nugget on October 17, 2007 5:35 PM

Same page. Writing in Gore. Unless I can't write in, in which case, Kucinich. Unless he's out of the race by my primary. In which case, whatever, Dodd, something.

Posted by: braine on October 17, 2007 5:54 PM

I voted "NO" for president the last time Nixon ran.

Posted by: Jeanette Harris on October 17, 2007 5:57 PM

Ben Dover/Amanda Huginkiss 08!

Posted by: Mark on October 17, 2007 6:35 PM

Don't forget the older political dynasties: I'm voting for John Fitzgerald Adams Roosevelt, XIV. Long live the monarchy, you dumb fuckin' "electable"-chasing gullible saps.

By the way, whose running on the Cthulhu ticket this year? Is it still Ron Paul?

Posted by: Beltway Dynastic Fop on October 17, 2007 6:51 PM

Of course the US has elected nothing but men for over 200 years now. Voting for Hillary based on her sex is moronic. Almost as moronic as voting for or against her because of her last name.

Posted by: MikeJ on October 17, 2007 8:22 PM

It may be moronic, but it is good for the environment. Think of all the political placards we can re-use!

Posted by: Davey on October 18, 2007 2:38 AM

I recommend moving to Finland, it's quite nice over here! :)

Posted by: Juoni on October 18, 2007 2:41 AM

actually, I also like to use probability here. out of how many millions of Americans that have lived in the past 230 years, only a handful have been president. and you're telling me that two of the most qualified people to be president married each other in college. the odds of that are tremendous. it's just too statistically improbable that Clinton is the most qualified person right now :)

Posted by: Dan Conner on October 18, 2007 6:45 AM

Things are more dynastic than that. If Hillary turns out to be the Democratic candidate, then it'll mean that in every Presidential election since 1976, there's been someone named Bush, Dole, or Clinton on the ballot (including the VP slot, of course).

Posted by: JB Lawton on October 18, 2007 7:03 AM

I read an interesting take on this a while back, arguing that it's not so much the presidential dynasties that are the problem but the administration dynasties.

A large chunk of Reagan's administration worked for Nixon. That's the chunk that gave us the Iran-Contra scandal.

That same chunk of people worked for Bush I, and they were instrumental in getting us involved in Gulf War 1.0.

That same chunk of people were the driving force behind Bush 2.1, and several of them are still around for Bush 2.2. This time around, they've given us Gulf War 2.0, the whole "unitary executive" BS with all those lovely signing statements, warrantless wiretapping, broad sweep data mining and electronic surveillance, detention of American citizens without due process, and--everybody's favorite--"we don't torture, we just hurt people until they tell us what we want to hear."

I'm not as familiar with the Clinton White House administration, but these are the people you have to watch: the unelected, directly-appointed advisors and staff who fly under the radar and answer to nobody. Before you pull the primary lever for Hillary, you might want to check out Bill's entourage from the 90s, see if you have issues with any of them, and see if they are still around.

Otherwise it's meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Posted by: Dorothy on October 18, 2007 7:07 AM

Um, hi, thanks for your support everyone, but I'm not really sure at all that I'm prepared to do the job.

But if you MUST vote for me, could you please be sure to write in "Phil McCracken" as my running mate instead?

Posted by: Ben Dover on October 18, 2007 7:37 AM

I'm in Obama's camp. He's read this thing called the Constitution. Heck, he's TAUGHT the Constitution. Won't you join us?

Posted by: Judy on October 18, 2007 8:25 AM

This is the second time I've used this line today, but it still stands. If we only have two families in office for an entire generation, it will make the Final Jeopardy question so much easier for all.

Posted by: Candy on October 18, 2007 9:00 AM

"I am so sick of this dynasty crap. Pierce? Then Buchanan? Then Lincoln? Then Johnson? Then Grant? Then Hayes? Then Garfield? Then Arthur? Then Cleveland? Then Harrison? Then Cleveland? Then McKinley? Then Roosevelt? Then Taft? Then Wilson? Then Harding? Then Coolidge? Then Hoover? Then Roosevelt? Then Truman? Then Eisenhower? Then Kennedy? Then Johnson? Then Nixon? Then Ford? Then Carter? Then Reagan? Then Bush? Then Clinton? Then Bush? If Hillary, Obama, Guiliani, or most any other currently popular candidate wins they will likely be re-elected as well; when they leave office, this nation will have been ruled exclusively by two parties for 160 straight years--six entire generations!"

"In other words, we need to look at the fact that Hillary et. al. may NOT be the best-qualified for the presidency, and ask what electing another Democrat or Republican will do to the institution of executive branch."

^^Fixed :D

Posted by: Sam on October 18, 2007 9:07 AM

A nit to pick:

IS: "Thirty-year-olds will be unable to remember a time when either a Bush or Clinton was running the joint."

SHOULD BE: "Thirty-year-olds will be unable to remember a time when Neither a Bush or Clinton was running the joint."

Posted by: Jonathan on October 18, 2007 9:57 AM

Dover is running?! I didn't know ... send me a bumper sticker and a pledge card.

My Dad is channeling the same angst ... although he's worried about Laura Bush after Hillary. Here is his post: http://horse-you-rode-in-on.com/2007/10/15/laura%e2%80%99s-turn/

I can't bring myself to vote for her either, but am also terrified of whatever post-apocolyptic, zombie-filled nightmare another Republican will turn my world into.

Think we can get Citizen Al to run again?

Posted by: Mark on October 18, 2007 12:25 PM

Take heart. Two words: Dean '04.

Just because she's the media darling now means exactly squat.

Posted by: craig on October 18, 2007 12:51 PM

In some ways, it's nice to have some good choices for a change.

Posted by: Carny Asada on October 18, 2007 12:57 PM

Damn. If Guiliani gets the nomination, then I hope Ron Paul just decides to run as an independent to split the ticket.

Posted by: Zobo on October 18, 2007 3:27 PM

"eats power for breakfast and shits crazy in the afternoon"

Don't be surprised if the Giuliani people steal that line and start putting it on bumper stickers

Posted by: jon deal on October 18, 2007 3:54 PM

We didn't fight a revolution with the British so that we could elect monarchs! We fought it so that we could vote for whoever the hell bloggers tell us to vote for!

Posted by: Diesel on October 18, 2007 4:24 PM

"And you know Jeb will be waiting in the wings."
Hey, I think Chelsea will be old enough to run by then, too!

Posted by: gruve on October 18, 2007 4:39 PM

Another nit to pick:

SHOULD BE: "Thirty-year-olds will be unable to remember a time when Neither a Bush or Clinton was running the joint."

ACTUALLY SHOULD BE: "Thirty-year-olds will be unable to remember a time when either a Bush or Clinton was running the joint."

It is EITHER/OR or NEITHER/NOR and since the existance of "a Bush or Clinton" is positive it is an either, not a neither.

Good job Matt, thanks for playing Sam.

Posted by: Timmeh on October 18, 2007 5:20 PM

Ooops, Misread the author lines. That last comment was meant for Jonathan, not Sam.

Thanks for playing Timmeh!

Posted by: Timm on October 18, 2007 5:22 PM

Hillary may be a woman, but it's Brownback who is a pussy. He sure pulled out early.

That's what his wife said!


I'm here all week. Be sure to tip your waitresses.

PS: James Dobson can eat a three ton bag of dicks.

Posted by: Brownback Mountain on October 18, 2007 5:33 PM

I'm waiting for a humorous observation about yoghurt that is now several days overdue...:-)

Posted by: Owen on October 19, 2007 2:30 AM

Timmeh says:
ACTUALLY SHOULD BE: "Thirty-year-olds will be unable to remember a time when either a Bush or Clinton was running the joint."

I fail to see how this is correct when it is the opposite of what Matthew intended.

ACTUALLY SHOULD BE: "Thirty-year-olds will be unable to remember a time when either a Bush or a Clinton was NOT running the joint."

OR: "Thirty-year-olds will be unable to remember a time when neither a Bush nor a Clinton was running the joint."

I like the second one better. What am I saying? I mean, both scare me.

Posted by: Ginger on October 19, 2007 7:23 AM

I'm with Sam on this one. The two-party system is whack and it eliminates debate to two opposing sides of crazy during the primaries and limits the final choice to two virtually identical candidates in the general. With a bit wider choice and a bit less one-on-one bashing we might actually explore all sides of issues and be able to elect people who use politics to a positive end rather than just those who can afford the most tv spots.

Dan Conner, please weigh in with more statistics. For instance, what is the probability that Bush Jr is now, has ever been or ever will be qualified to be president?

If, when I go to vote, I think Hillary is the best candidate, then that's who I'll choose. I would hate to think of someone not hiring me for a job just because my husband once held that same job.

Posted by: Mags on October 19, 2007 8:59 AM

Thanks a lot, Matt. I just clicked that "FORGET PERSONAL INFORMATION" button and now I can't remember my damn name. And since I can't remember where I live, the question of who I'm voting for is moot, because I don't know which station to show up at. Hey, wait a minute...

Posted by: ? on October 21, 2007 9:23 AM

Sharing your last line at my URL, fantastic.

See: Dodd


best to the Squirrelly.

Posted by: zennurse on October 23, 2007 7:29 AM

A dissent.

(disclaimer: I ain't voting for her in the primaries anyway. Dodd and Edwards are better. Gore is a dream. She and Obama are kind of a tossup.)

Voting for her because of her name: shallow. Not voting for her because of her name: bigoted.

FDR was a dynasty.

(When they're as important to us as they are to Republicans, then I'll worry. How long has it been since a Republican ticket has won the presidency without either a Bush or a Nixon as either president or VP? Go back and look...)

Posted by: eyelessgame on October 23, 2007 9:49 AM

(oh, and let's not forget the other dynasty candidate: a certain little brother, running in 1968...)

Posted by: eyelessgame on October 23, 2007 10:07 AM

Not that anyone cares, but I am so totally on the Gravel train, only because Feingold won't run this time around. I'm an admitted Feingold fangirl.

I really think Gravel's a better candidate than Clinton, mostly because he's a little left-er and much less of a polished politico

Posted by: Meetzorp on October 26, 2007 12:36 PM

Hillary all the way in '08! Then Jeb in '16. Then Chelsea in '24. Then George P in '32. You get the picture...


Posted by: Bush and Clinton Forever on October 27, 2007 6:54 PM

I'm a very liberal Democrat, but I can never vote for Hillary. She'll expand outsourcing. Look what Bill did with NAFTA. And she refuses to take the military option off the table for Iran.

We must stop Hillary before it's too late.

Posted by: TrueAmerican on November 3, 2007 3:07 PM